Your Summer Success Guide
Summer is here and it’s a time of relaxed schedules, trips out of town, and spending time with friends. While the feeling of added freedom is great, students often find themselves struggling with motivation to stay on point with their martial arts goals. The temptation is high to take a complete break from the usual routine and activities. But in doing so you’re missing out on valuable training time and growth! With the extra time students should be increasing their training and taking advantage of this opportunity to really excel in their skills! But what do you do when the urge to relax and skip out on training altogether hits?
I write this article as someone who’s had a lot of experience in this area. I’ve been practicing martial arts for 23 years now and believe me there were plenty of times I didn’t want to practice. The beauty of martial arts is that it’s one of the best ways to learn and develop your self-discipline, and to learn how to push through when you want to give up. I’ve taken these important life skills to make my martial arts practice a lifelong journey, continue to learn and grow, open my own business and see that business grow. I don’t possess any special skills to do these things, I’ve simply drawn on the lessons and experiences from my training and you can too. These are valuable lessons and habits to learn at any age and here are just a few that help keep me on track:
- Goals, goals, goals!
We talk about this regularly but it’s a hard thing for many to adopt and practice consistently. You should be setting specific goals for yourself for the summer training months. If there’s a technique you’ve been struggling with, make that your primary focus. But be sure to follow through with these goals by writing them down and tracking them weekly. Goals are meaningless if you don’t accomplish them!
Oftentimes the issue isn’t that we don’t want to train, it’s that we don’t want to stop doing whatever it is we’re doing. Like watching TV, playing video games, and relaxing with friends. It’s the law of inertia, objects in motion stay in motion, objects at rest stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. One thing I like to do is use a timer for my tasks and activities. I set aside a certain amount of time to work or practice, and after I’ve reached that time, I can have an allotted amount of break time. Structuring your day this way helps ensure you’re able to remain productive and focused on your goals while allowing for time to relax and have fun. Additionally, I like to recommend starting with some light stretching or technique practice 10-15 minutes before your class or training session and it’ll be a lot easier to keep moving!
- Make a schedule.
In the summer it can be too easy to allow other activities to crowd in and before you know it, you’re skipping practice on a regular basis. Your classes are scheduled, and you should also schedule practice time for yourself outside of class. Be sure to put your class times and time you’ve set aside for your own practice on your calendar. This will greatly improve your chances of following through!
- Make a playlist.
Music can be a great motivator! I can’t tell you how many times music has helped to motivate me when I didn’t want to train. Make a playlist of all of the songs that pump you up, inspire you and encourage you to be stronger than you’ve ever been. When you need some extra motivation, crank up that playlist!
- Whatever you do, don’t ditch the routine.
Again, the temptation to take a complete break from your normal activities during the summer might be high. But if you want to enjoy summer success, remember your martial arts training isn’t just an activity. It’s both physical and mental health, and life skill development. Following through with your routine will ensure a smoother and more successful transition back into your usual endeavors and keep you on the black belt path!
Along with the above tips it’s really important to adopt the right mindset. Understand that there will be ups and downs in your training and you’re not always going to find it “fun.” Arm yourself with the mindset that you’ll push through and stick with it no matter what because you understand the long-term goal and benefits of your training. This is how you develop discipline and learn to succeed at anything you attempt.
Please also be sure to check out my book and training guide, The Black Belt Playbook. I wrote this book to help kids and teens stay on track in their martial arts and accomplish their goals. It’s a great tool for summer training! We have them available in the studio and also on Amazon, link below.
Be sure to talk to your instructors any time a challenge arises and remember that we’ve all been through it! It takes time, discipline and grit to become a black belt and the journey is long but remember the strength you’re developing and the success you’ll enjoy as you continue!
Owner of 7 Spears Martial Arts Academy and 7 Spears Jiu Jitsu
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Published: June 21, 2023